December 08, 2019

American media and the war in Afghanistan

American media and the war in Afghanistan

The media has been reporting that Trump and his administration will imminently deliberate whether to send more troops to Afghanistan or not. The possibility of more troops has ruffled some feathers of ordinary Americans, since they have long despaired from a possible victory in Afghanistan. The American citizen doesn’t want more American lives to be lost in Afghanistan or more money squandered here. Over the past weeks several articles and opinions have appeared in U.S. news outlets opposing the further elongation of American’s longest war.

A few days ago the American news outlet – Business Insider – published an article titled ‘What are we even doing in Afghanistan?’ Previously the same source had printed another article warning ‘Afghanistan is the new Vietnam’.

 

The U.S. News published an article that stated that U.S. must not repeat mistake of sending more troops to Afghanistan. Similarly The Washington Times published a report (widely read and reported) that we should immediately pull out the remaining U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.

 

The Washington Times – which is a respected and widely-read source of information for Americans – recently wrote a detailed report on Afghanistan titled ‘Trump’s risk-free escape from Afghanistan quagmire?’ outlining the ground realities of the current U.S.-Afghanistan war and highlighting the ‘incompetencies’ of the so-called unity government in Kabul. The report labels the war as ‘unwinnable as was Vietnam’. According to the report, at the height of the conflict, the war in Afghanistan was hemorrhaging dollars at a staggering rate of $128 billion per annum, or more than $300 million per day. To put this into context, if the U.S. spends this money in American it could take the 45 million people living in poverty in that country out of it and therefore end poverty in its own country. The crux of the article states that since only Congress has the constitutional power to declare a state of war, Trump should ask Congress to either declare war in Afghanistan or in the very likely scenario that they fail to declare war, he should withdraw all American troops, trainers and advisors out of the country and cease all military support for the Afghan armed forces.

 

After illustrating the futility of a victory in this faraway theatre the report illustrates the state of the Kabul regime in the following manner. ‘Our Afghan puppet government is corrupt, inept, tribal, sectarian, brutal and unpopular. Ghost soldiers fill the ranks of the Afghan armed forces. Opium production is soaring. Elections are earmarked by massive fraud. The loyalties of Afghans are parochial, not national.’

 

The article declares that Afghanistan is not worth the bones of a single American soldier. The departure of U.S. armed forces will not put the country at risk. Citing previous examples of successful American withdrawals without risk of retaliation the articles continues that ‘we departed Vietnam without inciting aggression against us. We returned the Panama Canal Zone to Panama without triggering an attack. President Ronald Reagan withdrew American marines from Lebanon in 1984 without undermining our defenses.’

Finishing on a high note the writer argues that were Trump to withdraw from Afghanistan he would deserve a Noble Peace Prize, unlike Obama’s 2009 Noble, which made a mockery of peace.

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